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Once you have completed 10th grade, it is always a tough call to choose an academic stream that suits you best. When I was making this choice, I remember being really confused and senile. I loved physics, which is why I was inclined towards Science, I wanted to pursue journalism in the future which meant I should go for Humanities, and my parents advised me to opt for Biology and become a doctor! I fretted for a few months, changed my mind a couple of times, before I finally decided to take physics, chemistry and math.
I am glad that I thought this through before I made a final choice, as a lot of students end up selecting a stream that does not align with their goals and interests.
Here are my top five tips that can help you choose the right stream:
1. Evaluate yourself. The first and foremost step is to identify your interests, define your goals and understand your aptitude and skill sets. Ask yourself questions like: Which subjects interest me the most? What are my highest scoring subjects? What do I want to do in the future? It is important that you do a detailed strength-weakness analysis while choosing a stream as it will determine your future career path.
2. Research ALL streams. Now that we have established the importance of knowledge about your personality and interests, it is necessary to grab as much details about the streams as possible. Delve into identifying what are the important subjects in a given stream, potential career paths, scope in the future, difficulty level, aptitude requirement, etc. Once you have these details, you can match them with your interests and competencies and arrive at a conclusion.
3. Scope of a particular stream. take your first step towards building a rewarding career, you should give adequate importance to this step. Analyze each stream in terms of its career prospects. A lot of students are unsure about their career paths when they are in 10th grade, therefore, learning about the scope of career paths associated with a particular stream will help them better understand what their future would look like! For example – Both engineers and commerce graduates work as business consultants, how will you choose among the two then? Let’s say you are fascinated by the job of a consultant (because your uncle is one and he leads a pretty amazing life!) and you also enjoy reading about engines and their working – in this case, you should opt for engineering as that will open doors to both your interests and commerce won’t!
4. Visit an educational counselor. A qualified counselor would be able to identify your strengths and interests and will find a stream that suits you the best! They have special tests that are scientifically designed to help the students pick the right stream based on their likes & dislikes and strengths & weaknesses. Find a counselor that has considerable experience and offers you customized help. It is extremely vital that the advisor understands your background and interests, and gives tailor-made advice.
5. Discuss with your seniors/parents/teachers. We, as students, tend to make impulsive and biased decisions due to lack of knowledge, which is why it is important to seek advice from people who have been through this phase and learn from their bittersweet experiences. They will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, and they will open your eyes to the challenges and perks associated with each choice. However, these discussions should not be one-sided, raise your concerns and express your opinions clearly and take a decision only when you are fully convinced.
Deciding the right stream for yourself will be a boost to your future and the small steps taken at this stage will serve as milestones in your career journey. So take your time in making this decision, follow the above steps and you are good to go!
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